November last year, Verzio launched two dual-SIM mobile phones in the Philippines. One is the 3G capable Duplii and the other is the stylus touting Twinn. This month, I got to extensibly check out the Verzio Duplii for several weeks and here’s what I think about it.
What’s inside the box? You have the phone, the charger, a USB cable, earphones, a CD installer and 2 batteries. Phones that come with an extra/spare battery gets plus points in my book. The Verzio PC Suite is a simple program you install to manage your phone via the computer or laptop.
Those of you who are used to most Nokia models will find the Duplii quite a familiar design and layout. The keypads are laid out normally in the usual grid layout except for the space key which is placed in the middle right corner — needs getting used to. The T9 Predictive Text feature is also very annoying and I couldn’t find a way to turn it off permanently.
The sockets for the SIM cards are found at the back, just beneath the slot for the battery. The first slot on the left is designated SIM1 and the second slot on the right is SIM2. You can just insert a single SIM module for it to work but if you placed 2, you will still have the option to activated either one or both (online or offline) during boot-up or by pressing the power button halfway. This is a crucial feature for dual-sim phones, IMO. The 2MP camera works just fine but I was wondering if that plastic cover needs to be removed or is really there for protecting the tiny lens.
The interface is nice and appealing with animated flash-based screen wallpaper to boot. So is the navigation menu — it’s well thought out with some nifty eye-candy but remains simple. You can choose between the standard grid menu or the slide menu style. In the Settings, you can also choose which SIM you want as the primary number and will serve the the number used when calling out. When sending SMS though, you will always be prompted to select which SIM to use every time you select “Send”.
Though this model is 3G capable, I had a hard time configuring it with either Smart or Globe. My guess is that the telcos don’t have the settings ready OTA and you may need to bring the unit to one of their wireless centers. Likewise, the Verzio Snap Dialer that comes with the PC Tools is confusing (or I’m just totally unfamiliar with it) so I didn’t bother hooking the laptop to the phone to dial up to the internet.
It’s hard to determine how much internal memory this has but a quick glance at the settings shows you can squeeze up to 1,000 contacts. An external SD card can extend storage space though. There’s Bluetooth and an active mini USB port (which means you can charge the phone thru it too). There’s no IR port anywhere, just a dedicated volume control and a camera switch.
Despite the shortcomings, the Verzio Duplii achieved its main purpose — an affordable and very functional dual-sim phone that most multiple-phone users will surely like.
Update: Suggested retail price (SRP) for the Duplii is P14,990 while the Twinn is P11,990.